Bann’s attack need a quick fix for visit of champions

Banbridge coach Mark Tumilty reckons Peter Brown is getting back to his peak. Pic: Presseye
Banbridge coach Mark Tumilty reckons Peter Brown is getting back to his peak. Pic: Presseye

Banbridge need to get their short corners working - and fast.

Saturday’s heavy defeat at Comber Road means Bann have won just five of their opening 11 EY IHL fixtures. And they know their place in the season-ending Champions Trophy Finals at Havelock Park is far from assured.

The top three teams in the IHL qualify alongside the Irish Senior Cup champions to play for Ireland’s top European place. Those play-offs take place in Bann’s own back yard on Saturday 30th April and Sunday 1st May.

They are currently in a qualifying place, third in the IHL table but with reigning IHL champions Monkstown coming to town on Saturday (pass-back 4.15pm), Bann know their place is far from assured.

Any slip from Mark Tumilty’s side and Three Rock Rovers and Glenanne will all be ready to pounce.

And the coach says they will be pulling out all the stops to rediscover their attacking flair.

“We need to get our corners right. If we don’t do that, we have no chance,” he said.

“We haven’t been sharp enough in the final third and that shows in our goals scored from open play. No forward is on more than three so we need to improve.

“We’ll work on it over the next few weeks and hopefully, if we can get to the play-offs, we can compete.”

Saturday’s opponents Monkstown are four points ahead of Bann and Tumilty wants his side to reel them back in to put second spot up for grabs.

He said: “If we can win, it brings them back to us and makes it a battle for second place as well as third.

“We need to play very well and it will be tough but we can get a result.

“It’s a bit of a free shot in some ways.

“It’s what we do in the last six games that is the real challenge. We have to finish in the top three and those are the games we have to win in order to do that.

“There’s no team we can’t compete against but we need to get a break and we need to be more clinical. Why not do it against Monkstown on Saturday?”